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A notification duty is now being introduced for cooling towers – Public Health Authority

A notification duty is now being introduced for cooling towers – Public Health Authority

The government decided to impose a notification obligation on cooling towers to prevent the risk of Legionella spread. The new regulations will be introduced on February 1, 2024 and mean that companies will be obliged to report cooling towers to the Municipal Supervisory Authority for Environmental and Health Protection.

Cooling towers that are not properly maintained can pose a risk for the spread of Legionella bacteria. Although the number of documented cases is relatively small, once an outbreak occurs it can affect a large number of people.

During 2024 and 2025, Public Health will issue supervisory guidance on cooling towers and reporting obligations.

Facilitating the work of the municipality

Municipalities are responsible for supervising cooling towers, but they are also responsible for tracking infections in the event of cases and outbreaks of Legionella bacteria. One of the reasons for introducing mandatory notification is to make it easier for municipalities to trace infections. By gaining knowledge of the location of cooling towers, municipalities also gain better conditions to prevent the spread of infection and implement preventive supervision.

Brief facts about the reporting obligation

  • If the business operator begins construction or use of cooling towers after 1 February 2024, the notification obligation applies from 1 August 2024.
  • If a business operator begins construction or use of a cooling tower before February 1, 2024, it must notify the cooling tower by December 31, 2024 at the latest.
  • The notification obligation may not apply to cooling towers that form part of an activity subject to a permit or notification requirements in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act (2013:251).
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